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Cow manure and weeds

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by DeepGreenLawn, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    I am about to go get some dried aged cow manure down the street to use for topdressing, has ash mixed in and all that good stuff, and was wandering if there was a possibility of weeds germinating in it.

  2. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    How was it "dried and aged"? If it was piled, there was probably quite a bit of heat generated and there's little chance that seeds survived. If it was spread out, it is very likely. Either way, I would compost it with green lawn clippings for at least a few weeks before putting it on a lawn.

    What is "all that good stuff"? What kind of ash and how much? A little ash is a good thing, a lot? --- not so much.
  3. Daner

    Daner LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,307

    Jeff Is right...what Is In the batch??? If the Manure Is still cookin...or not cooked enough... then there will most likely be weed seeds In there...this Is why Its so Important especially being In the Organic lawn car biz to know exactly what you are putting on the customers lawns . weeds are organic...but come next spring...If you layed down any uncooked manure you will see what the results will be

  4. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    The pile has some ash in it, I think that was about it. I just got it today. I got there, they had it ready to go, hit the trailer and I thought... OH SH*T! It stunk to high heaven, was all wet, and gunked up.

    I was wandering if they for got to dry it and then it hit me... We got a monsoon last night, my wife said the backyard was 3 times the lake it is when we get a good rain. You know a puddle about 6X6? Yall saw pics of my back yard, the bigger area pools up for a minute and then drains away. Well, I got home and the woodchips from the "compost" I posted about were up the wall of the house and my patio, which is a good bit higher than the low areas and has never had water on it, had all the mulch on top stacked about an inch thick.

    So, the dry good pile just turned into stinky mush that I am going to have to dry agian myself. I figured with the heat we are getting it should be good within an hour.
  5. Daner

    Daner LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,307

    Deep...If It rained cats and dogs last night on that pile that you picked up and it stunk to high heavens...the pile was not ready yet...take my advice and be carfull about putting manures on the lawns...alot of bad things can happen

  6. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    It should have little to no smell, if there is it should smell earthy.

    It may have been composted properly and while sitting around has picked up weed seeds blown in from the neighborhood, you never know

    It is why people move to composting themselves so that you have control and know exactly what they are applying
  7. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    My great uncle always liked to repeat this silly play-on-words at times, when I was a little kid, helping out in the barn, or with putting in the hay, etc :

    " No one knew 'er like the horse- manure" !

    I sort of wondered at the time, if there was some sort of distorted hidden story from his past, tucked in the back of his mind, that triggered him to repeat this at times.

    But...since he died in the late 70's....I've since come to terms with myself that he just liked to hear himself say it ! :)
  8. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    this is their process...

    - Scrape the manure out from the stalls
    - Spread it out over a concrete pad to dry
    - Scoop it up and put in a pile across the gravel path
    - Mix in some ash
    - Put it on the trailer

    I have been drying what I got and everytime I turn it, it smells again. I think I got the fresh part of the pile. The first time I was there I smelled it, took a big ole wiff right at the tip of my nose, didn't smell a thing, a little earthy if anything. Well, I also noticed the pile grew since then.

    I found another source today though, people sh*t. The guy down the street had a guy next to him that trucks stuff. He had some left overs that he mixed with sand and shipped to a guy in Canton, north of me. He said he got it from the Canton sewage department. Said he gets it for $15 a yard. Figure a price for me. I know what yall are thinking, go to cobb county, but I honor this stuff. I came to the guy for compost. He put me in contact with the other guy. Yeah, I could save a lot of money but I don't want to burn bridges either. I like to keep a good repor, and help the other small guys around so I will bite the bullet on this one. Also, my prices are adjusted for just this reason.

    At the same time I talked with the horse farm again, their pile had grown too, about 40' long and 6' high. Sound familiar? By the time we got done talking basically they are going to pile all their shavings up, I am going to bring in the manure, and we are going to possibly get two piles going at once. I got to get the tubes I need down with the gravel but after that we are off to work. The guy running the tractor, a white guy amazingly enough, actually had an idea of what I was wanting to do and we held a decent conversation for a while. I was impressed and happy at the same time. Cut down on a lot of explaining.

    We shall see.

    What about this human stuff, what was it everyone was saying about it? Basically the same stuff as milorganite right? Heavy metals or something like that? This stuff got rained on too but it was pretty dry, if I remember right it was under some trees so probably didn't get much rain on it, and the trees seem to be on the side the rain was coming from, looks like it was going sideways from the damage I found when I got home from the station this morning.
  9. k911lowe

    k911lowe LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    i would never,ever use manure on a customers lawn in any way,shape or form.we took over work at a dairy about 5 years ago and they used to use manure and their lawn looked like,well u know.we use commercial fertilizer only for 30 years.organics are a joke.expensive and useless for the environment.whats good about having burnt spots in your grass.i could never understand.do they think commercial fertilizer is made of plastic.it is made from organic material.gimme a break.
  10. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    Nice to know how you feel about it... everyone has their opinion.

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